Eyeing North Korean Threat, Japan Bolsters Military Capabilities

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KADENA AIR BASE, Japan — Eyeing the threat of a potentially nuclear-armed North Korea, Japanese leaders are navigating delicate domestic politics and a complicated relationship with Japan’s closest ally, the United States, as they embark on selective military improvements. The Japanese constitution, written with U.S. guidance in wake of Japan’s catastrophic defeat in World War II, categorically prohibits a standing military. Since the 1950s, the nation has maintained “self-defense forces” that are military services in all but name. Nevertheless, legal limitations and a deep vein of pacifism among the Japanese electorate have hamstrung the development of these forces. Japan devotes […]

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